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The Harada Method

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The Harada Method: the Spirit of Self-Reliance fills in the missing link to lean; in essence it is the human side of lean. It compliments the works of Dr. Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno by addressing the people side of Lean. Virtually every company today is attempting to be lean, but very few know how to achieve it. The Harada Method can be used to gain full cooperation for a company’s lean efforts by overcoming the Eighth Waste of Lean: the underutilization of people’s creative talents. It empowers people to take charge of their own lives in order to become highly skilled on the job and become totally self-reliant. It teaches how the company and every employee can be successful at the same time.

Called by the Japan Management Association (JMA) the best concept for "Day-to-Day Management," the Harada Method is a new methodology created by Takashi Harada from Osaka, Japan. JMA claims it to be the world's best process to develop people to their fullest capability. Here finally is the next step in the lean journey. It teaches a systematic way of developing employees to increase their skill levels to the point that they will become totally self reliant and virtually irreplaceable. Lean has taught many how to continuously make improvements on the shop floor, and even in hospitals and other institutions, but what has been missing is the way to harness the creativity and motivation of employees and managers. The Harada Method is a personal journey of growth that anyone can use to set and achieve personal goals, help lead employees toward reaching their individual goals, and help organizations reach a greater success. It is designed to teach managers how to be a great leaders and coaches to develop people to their fullest and to build a winning team.

The Harada Method explores the underlying question, asking "how can we continue to be competitive internationally when so many employees are bored and uninspired with their work?" Companies have been working on continuous improvement for years, but most have primarily been looking at the processes side when the real opportunity for substantial change is to focus on helping people improve. People can do incredible work when they are truly motivated and guided by great leadership.

Every great athlete has a coach, and yet very few workers have coaches on the job. The Harada Method teaches how to become a great leader/coach to bring out the best from each and every employee, from all levels within organization.

The key to the method is to ask every worker to pick a goal to succeed at in life. It asks everyone to become highly-skilled at something. It gives people something to strive for when they come to work. It is a well thought-out, step-by-step process to help transform people to achieve success for themselves and for their organizations.

Takashi Harada is a management consultant in Japan and over the past ten years has trained over 60,000 employees and managers across the country. Co-author Norman Bodek is president of PCS Press, a consulting, training and publishing company located in Vancouver, WA. He is also an adjunct professor at Portland State University in Portland, OR. In 1979, Bodek started Productivity Inc. and Productivity Press which published hundreds of manufacturing books and held conferences, seminars and plant tours across the country. Bodek says his claim to fame is that he found amazing tools, techniques and new thoughts that have revolutionized the world of manufacturing. He has met Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Dr. Joji Akao, Mr. Taiichi Ohno, Dr. Shigeo Shingo and many other great manufacturing masters and published many of their books in English. This is his seventh book.

The Harada Method: the Spirit of Self-Reliance includes interviews with Jeffrey K. Liker, author of The Toyota Way, Robert D. Miller, director of the Shingo Prize and John Allen, CEO of TSD Total Systems Development, Inc. It also includes all the forms created and designed by Takashi Harada, which allows the reader to follow and complete the entire method.


“Norm Bodek has been at the forefront of the business performance improvement movement for more than 30 years. He initially focused on productivity and quality improvement. He was one of the first practitioners to study what was happening in Japan in the early 1980s and has continued to be at the leading edge of finding practical approaches to improve-performance.

His newest book, “The Harada Method” is the next step in Norm’s on-going learning about finding more effective ways to improve. Takashi Harada developed an effective approach for helping people to become more self-reliant and more successful in their lives. Much of his theory is based on sound research that elite athletes have used for many years: visioning success, specific interim measureable goals, and challenging one’s self to be a better person. This book pulls it all together, in one place. It can supplement the workshops Norm does on this subject; it could also be used by two-or-three people who work together to reinforce what they individually seek to accomplish. This book fits very well with the people side of lean. It would also be a great book for educational institutions to use in working with poor and disadvantaged students as this is where Takashi Harada did his original research and developed his theories. He was able to help students transform their abilities moving from a life of failure to a life of possibilities, an impressive accomplishment to say the least.” - Michael Bremer, The Cumberland Group

"Being a lean practitioner for over 20 years, I'm constantly finding aspects of lean which continue to add more depth and breadth to all the systems I support. Lean is like a infinitely faceted diamond, with each surface providing more and more value!

I took Norman's 'Harada' course a couple of years ago. The simplicity in which the Harada Method allows one to view all aspects of life masks a great deal of thought and work that have gone into the forms and routines. If you have great aspirations for your life, the Harada Method is a great vehicle for progressing toward your goals!

I am especially impressed by how the Harada Method integrates all aspects of life: character, capability, health, learning, and aspirations. If you think being successful in business isn't connected to being successful in these other important areas, you need to buy Norman's book, and you need to take his course!

How many of us have been exposed to great ideas, and with the best of intentions, did nothing with them? The Harada Method not only sets a path for you, but all the supporting foundations, the vehicle for progress, and the measurement systems to ensure completion. The concepts provided in the Harada method will not only change your career, they will change your life. Pick up your copy today, or better yet, contact Norman, and get yourself into one of his courses. You will never regret it!” -Bill Kluck, Senior Director, Lean/Operational Excellence

The Coca-Cola Company

“The Harada Method has helped me build the behaviors and routines I needed to be successful in achieving both my work and life goals. I now reflect on my actions and assess their impact against my goals on a daily basis. This intentional reflection has helped me to improve and has created a level of personal momentum and synergy between my life and my work that I have never experienced.”- Lori Eberhardt, Performance Improvement Advisor, Talisman Energy

“I can see why Harada is considered the best “day- to- day management.” I don’t know how I’ve managed to organize myself to date without a comprehensive approach as this.”

- Peter Bodi, President, Accurate Machine & Tool Ltd.


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